Ukraine says it destroyed large Russian landing ship in Black Sea


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KYIV, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Ukrainian forces destroyed the Russian Navy's Tsezar Kunikov large landing ship off the occupied peninsula of Crimea in the Black Sea on Wednesday, Kyiv's military said.

A Ukrainian news outlet published several videos showing a column of smoke rising over the sea off the southern coast of Crimea, as well as helicopters flying over the sea.

"The Ukrainian Armed Forces, together with the Defence Ministry's intelligence unit, destroyed the Tsezar Kunikov large landing ship. It was in Ukrainian territorial waters near Alupka at the time of the hit," the military said on the Telegram messaging app.

There was no immediate comment from Russia, which said earlier that it had destroyed six drones in the Black Sea.

The Ukrainian military intelligence agency said the Russian warship had been attacked with naval drones.

Ukraine has used uncrewed navy drones packed with explosives to attack Russian warships to try to drive them out of the western parts of the Black Sea, making it possible to open a shipping corridor along a traditionally key export route.

In December, Ukrainian cruise missiles struck another large Russian landing warship in Crimea.

(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Tom Balmforth)

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